Whether twelve people or only two reside in your home, creating a household chore list and designating when each job ought to be done goes a long way toward making your house peaceful.
We brought up four children in our tiny home, while homeschooling to boot! Needless to say, our living space quickly became cluttered and dirty! To save my sanity, a “fix-it-and-forget-it” household chore list HAD to be created! And, after years of experimenting, my kids and I finally produced a chore chart that was EVERGREEN, meaning, its schedule of rotating chores resets itself every four weeks. Our kids were ages 7 to 16 by then.
According to Amy McCready of PositiveParentingSolutions.com, “Not only is it important for your sanity, it’s important for kids to learn important skills (like cleaning toilets and folding laundry) that they’ll need later in life.”
I printed our “fix-it-and-forget-it” chore chart, used colored pencils to indicated which child was assigned which chore (four kids = four colors), slipped it into a clear plastic page protector, put it on a clipboard, and placed it next to our office printer for easy access.
Every daily chore was assigned to someone each day.
Every weekly chore was assigned to someone each week.
Every biweekly chore was assigned to someone biweekly.
And every monthly chore was assigned to someone each month. All in one place.
Amazingly, we used that same piece of paper, in its same plastic page protector, on that same wooden clipboard for two years!
Where It Began
As I think back to the start of our chore charting journey, I realize that I came into using the “fix-it-and-forget-it” chart accidentally. Back then, I was reprinting the chore rotation chart every four weeks until there came a time when I didn’t have time to create a new 4-week chart AGAIN! So, I found myself crossing out the dates we’d just finished and adding the current dates. For two months, I did this, thinking to myself that I really should make time to go back and do it “right”.
Don’t Need To Re-Do It
Then an idea came to me! Since the only change needed was the dates, and the kids just stayed on the same schedule of 4-week rotating chores, all I needed to do was pencil in the new dates of the next four consectutive weeks. AND I WAS DONE!
Rinse and repeat! Every four weeks.
Laura’s “FIX-IT-AND-FORGET-IT” EVERGREEN CHORE CHART
Step One – Make a List
Write down every household chore that ever needs to be done at your house. Think of indoor chores, outdoor chores, big chores, small chores, basement, attic, and garage chores, vehicle maintenance tasks, and pet chores.
Step Two – Designate Frequency
Designate how often each chore needs to be done – either daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, semiannually, or annually.
Step Three – Number the List
Next, number this list. We had forty-one chores, so our chore list went from 1 – 41. It looks like this:
- Wash inside and outside of refrigerator
- Clean fans
- Wash dishes and kitchen
- Sweep house floors
- Sweep porches
- Empty trash into kitchen can
- Tidy house and porch
- Defrost freezer
- Wash RV
- Rake yard
- wash trash cans
- Scrub front and back doors
- Clean windows inside Buick, Suburban, and RV
- Vacuum inside Buick
- Vacuum inside Suburban
- Scrub and black RV tires
- Wash RV blankets
- Clean and straighten office supplies cabinet
- Clean and disinfect bathrm sink and counter
- Wash house floors
- Clean yard of sticks and toys, etc.
- Wash mirrors and windows
- Arrange bookshelves
- Vacuum in house
- Empty and wipe toaster
- Clean and disinfect toilet
- Scrub and disinfect tub and its walls
- Wash Buick
- Wash Suburban
- Remove outside cobwebs
- Remove inside cobwebs
- Scrub and black Buick tires
- Scrub and black Suburban tires
- Clean and disinfect RV sinks and toilet
- Sweep and vacuum inside RV
- wash RV linens
- Dust inside RV
- Take out Tuesday trash
- Check cars’ fluids and tire pressures
Step Four – Assign Chores
- Consider the age and ability of each person who’ll do these chores.
- Consider the frequency that each chore needs to be done.
- Designate who will be assigned each chore.
Step Five – Make a CHORE CHART NUMBERS PAGE
On a separate piece of paper, list the numbers 1-41 (the number of total household chores) in a single row. Put four rows just like this one on your one sheet of paper.
Four rows of numbers work well, because each row represents one week of chores. Since four weeks represent approximately one month, monthly chores come due again every fourth week.
See my video for a complete demonstration and explanation
I put double spaces between the rows, leaving lots of space for penciling in dates and for marking with my colored pencils.
Step Six – Give Each Row a Date
Give dates to your rows of numbers. These four rows will be used for four weeks. Therefore
- Write Sunday’s date next to row one.
- Write the following Sunday’s date next to row two.
- Then the next Sunday date at row three.
- Then the fourth Sunday date at row four.
(When those first four weeks have passed, you’ll pencil in the next four Sunday dates to start the next four-week cycle.)
Step Seven – Give a Color to Each Number
Color week one’s numbers (those in the first row) according to which child will do which chores for the week. Do the same for weeks two through four.
Place the HOUSEHOLD CHORE CHART LIST together with the CHORE CHART NUMBERS PAGE where it is easily accessible.
Rows of Numbers Explained
Here’s an explanation on how it works. In my video, you can see this in action.)
- Purple = our 7-year-old’s chores
- Blue = our 10-year-old’s chores
- Green = our 13-year-old’s chores
- Red = our 16-year-old’s chores
- The first row (or column) of numbers is for the first week of the month; I pencil in the Sunday date for that row.
- The second row (or column) of numbers is for the second week of the month; I pencil in the Sunday date for that row.
- The third row (or column) of numbers is for the third week of the month; I pencil in the date for that row.
- And I do the same for the fourth row.
The easiest chore of all, chore #7, is “empty trash into kitchen can”. Therefore, our 7-year-old was the only person assigned to that chore. It’s done daily and every week. Obviously, she was never assigned the chore of “remove outside cobwebs”, or other difficult jobs, because she was not big enough!
Chore number 9, defrost freezer was assigned once a month; our two youngest worked this chore together. (Note the two colors for chore #9.)
The RV was used as a bedroom for our 16-year-old, so she was continuously assigned chores #36 – #39, cleaning inside the RV.
Chores #10, #11, and #17 are hard, time-consuming chores. The six of us all did these when our schedules allowed. That’s why these numbers don’t have a color designation.
Tuesday trash, chore #40, went to only two children. On even-numbered months, one child did it every week; on odd-numbered months, the other child did it. This made it easier to remember who was on duty on any given week.
NOTE: Every child, including our 7-year-old, was capable of doing chore #4, the family’s laundry!
I think some reasons this chore chart worked well in our family is that it was fair and predictable. Everyone knew what to expect regarding chores, and nobody was getting stuck with something for too long! Even if someone despised his or her current chores for the week, it only lasted a week, then someone else would get them next week. I tell my kids all the time, “Everything is only for a season.” We can tolerate the disagreeable things in life better when we have that attitude.
I love the chart, because I didn’t have to put time and energy into creating a new schedule for chores, EVER! (Well, at least for a couple years!)
We did not include parents on this chore chart, as parents had plenty of work to do outside of household chores!
What do you think? Would this household chore list help in making your house peaceful? Did I even explain it well enough for you to understand it? If not, please ask for clarification.
My heart goes out to families, and especially home school families, that struggle with organizing and running an efficient home. I truly hope my “fix-it-and-forget-it” chore chart will help.
Peace and blessings to you and your family,